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Was the mayor drunk? The question has surely been asked before. This time, mayor of Sunland Park, New Mexico and future congressional candidate Martin Resendiz is attracting the ire of fellow city councilmembers this week after admitting that he was inebriated while signing 9 contracts with a California company.
The mayor has caused the city to potentially be on the hook for $1 million in work done by Synthesis+ despite the council's failure to approve the contracts.
Yes--even if he was drunk at the time of signing.
In a deposition related to the lawsuit filed by Synthesis+, the Associated Press reports that Mayor Martin Resendiz claimed that he was so drunk he "didn't know what [he] was signing" and that his sister had to pick him up.
Prior to signing the contracts he had gone out for drinks with the company's executives.
Even if Resendiz is found to have lacked the capacity to contract as a result of his inebriated state, the city may still be forced to pay Synthesis+ for its services.
Unjust enrichment is an equitable principle that allows a plaintiff to recover the cost of services rendered even if no enforceable contract exists.
If a plaintiff can show that he provided the defendant a benefit with the expectation of compensation, that the defendant accepted that benefit, and a lack of compensation would be unfair, a court may order a defendant to pay.
Though Sunland Park appears to have accepted $1 million in the company's services, this isn't the end of the story.
Martin Resendiz claims that Synthesis+ executives did not portray the documents as contracts when he signed them, reports the Associated Press. If true, this could very well change the court's determination of fairness.